What is Adult Age Regression?
Age Regression ( agere) as an adult can be a coping mechanism in which adults regress to a younger age, often to cope with stress, anxiety, or trauma. It is not a mental illness, and it is not sexual in nature.
People who engage in Age Regression, oftentimes referred to as agere, may find it helpful to regress to a time when they felt safe and carefree. They may enjoy activities that are typically associated with childhood, such as playing with toys, watching cartoons, or coloring. They may also adopt a younger persona, such as a toddler or a school-aged child.
As an adult, regression can be a helpful way to manage difficult emotions and to process trauma. It can also be a way to connect with a sense of innocence and wonder. However, it is important to note that regression is not a cure-all for mental health problems. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, or trauma, it is important to seek professional help and / or speak with someone you trust about what might be causing these emotions.
How Does Age Regression for Adults Work?
The exact mechanism of regression therapy is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve one or more combination of factors, which can include include:
- Dissociation: Dissociation is a mental process that allows us to detach from our thoughts, feelings, and memories. It is a common coping mechanism for people who have experienced trauma. When adults engage in regression, they may dissociate from their adult selves and regress to a younger age. This can often be referred to as “headspace.”
- Imprinting: Imprinting is a process that occurs in early childhood, when we learn to associate certain things with certain emotions. For example, we may learn to associate the smell of cookies with happiness. When people engage in regression therapy, they may revisit experiences from their childhood and re-imprint those experiences with positive emotions; particularly when they were not happy memories as a child. Even without regression people do this all the time. For example if you are an adult and you had a traumatic event as a child during a rain storm like a car accident or natural disaster, you may opt to always ensure you do something fun when stuck inside. This allows you to add positive fun memories to associate with raining rather than just the bad experiences.
- Play therapy: Play therapy is a type of therapy that uses play to help individuals express their emotions and to work through trauma. When people engage in regression therapy, they may use play to express their emotions and to cope with stress. This can include both age appropriate or younger targeted toys and activities. The goal is play, though some people may target different types of activities based on what makes them most comfortable.
Is Adult Age Regression Safe?
Regression is generally considered to be safe when it is done in a healthy way, like most things. However, there are some potential risks associated with regression, such as:
- Addiction: Some people may become addicted to the feeling of regressing and may use it as a way to escape from their problems. This can lead to problems in relationships, work, and other areas of life. This may also lead to a ‘binge and purge’ cycle of over indulging then avoiding it completely until the need becomes so overwhelming that they again start over. Balance is the key with any type of coping.
- Isolation: People who engage in regression may withdraw from friends and family and may become isolated. This can lead to loneliness and depression. A desire to find others accepting or engaging in regression can help not only isolation but also other factors such as finding balance and acceptance.
- Shame: Some people may feel ashamed of their regression and may hide it from others. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness as well. While there is generally not a need to hide regression practices there is also generally not a need to involve others either. It is important to keep in mind that others may be uncomfortable with some actions. It is important to respect others boundaries and only engage in regression in ways and times where it would be socially acceptable to do so.
If you are considering engaging in regression, it is important to find a safe and supportive environment in which to regress. This can be at home by yourself, with a spouse or partner, or with other adults who engage in the same activities.
It is important to remember that age regression in adults is not a mental illness. It is a coping mechanism that some people find helpful. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, or trauma, there are many healthy coping mechanisms that you can try, age regression may be one of them.